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What we’re about

Welcome to Hiking With Dean. Be sure to visit our web site at

Our hikes are based upon a simple philosophy: You should be able to go out your front door and within a few minutes be on trails winding your way through the local wilderness. Thus, most of our hikes are found in the Santa Monica Mountains, Santa Susana Mountains, Simi Hills and Conejo Valley.

Since our founding in 2007, HWD has become the largest and most popular hiking group in the country and 2nd largest in the world (after Outdooraholics London Hiking)*. I have personally led about 900 hikes logging over 100,000 hiker-miles.

All of our hikes are free. Most of our hikes are MEDIUM to DIFFICULT. Because of my own limitations we'll refrain from any serious rock climbing and avoid precarious ledges and ridges. But we do avoid fire roads when we can. Watch for the "no fire road rule" in the hike descriptions. See our hike rating guide at

Our hiking group is different from the others. Instead of looking through Alltrails and hiking books for a hike, I look through my collection of old maps and aerials for forgotten ranch roads and old trails that I can add to the book hikes. Once upon a time our "open space" was home to ranchers, farmers, movie sets, homesteaders, and other characters that have left behind their marks for us to discover and uncover.

Become a HWD VIP at Its not required to join, but to help support the group we welcome and appreciate your gift of an annual $20.00. As an HWD donor member you become a HWD VIP with many benefits not available in other groups, for example, breakfast at the trail head, free prizes and other goodies, exclusive outings, no waiting lists, etc. Sounds better than the usual "please donate" other groups use, doesn't it?

*HWD has the largest membership per leader

• Don't be a flake by signing up and not showing up
• Read the hike description
• No dogs unless indicated in hike description (our special dog-friendly hikes)
•The following is not a rule, but if you want to avoid being a victim of sarcastic remarks do not ask a question that is answered in the hike description

Proud Member of:

  • Santa Monica Mountains Trails Council
  • California State Parks Foundation
  • The Mountains Restoration Trust
  • Montecito Trails Foundation
  • Conejo Open Space Foundation

By joining you agree to the Assumption of Risk and Liability Waiver at

A Few Testimonials
Dean is a wonderful leader. He really paid attention to the needs of the group. He facilitated the group, but didn't control the group. I will attend again -- Kimmy
If Dean [one of the original SoCal Meetup-ers mind you] would ever write a book on hiking SoCal [as he rightfully should] it would be a must-buy. Dean is both knowledgeable and adventurous. Conscientious and kind. I would have no problem hiking with Dean anywhere. - Les
Dean is a great hike leader. He knows the trails. — Lydia
The group leader Dean is very conscious of all of us hikers as a group. We all get to trek at our own pace comfortably and still stay together.He's got an agenda planned with an extra twist on where we are going to hike. — elyse
Dean is an excellent group leader who knows the trails very well. He is always looking out for the welfare of his hikers. The group attracts some of the most pleasant people you can hope to meet. — Bruce
What can I say? This group ROCKS!!! Some of the friendliest people I have met and the Organizer, Dean is a sweetheart! - Sara
Dean has organized the best group of hikers who like to hike and have fun. — Blake
Dean is extremely knowledgeable and serves up a seemingly endless array of hikes. A very pleasant and down-to-earth group of people who are easy to get to know ... and like — Drew
Dean is a strong hike leader with a friendly and outgoing group of people who know how to have fun while hiking - Laura
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